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-   -   Rabies Vacs (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/staying-healthy-on-the-road/rabies-vacs-10917)

simmo 23 Jun 2003 09:06

Rabies Vacs
What does a Rabies vacination do? Does it mean you dont have to do the 21 injections thing if you get bitten? Do you still have to go for treatment even if youve had the vacination?

JamesCo 24 Jun 2003 06:15

Answers taken from the CDC website - http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabie...l/preventi.htm


Originally posted by simmo:
What does a Rabies vacination do?
Preexposure prophylaxis is given for several reasons. First, although preexposure vaccination does not eliminate the need for additional medical attention after a rabies exposure, it simplifies therapy by eliminating the need for human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) and decreasing the number of vaccine doses needed – a point of particular importance for persons at high risk of being exposed to rabies in areas where immunizing products may not be available, and it minimizes adverse reactions to multiple doses of vaccine. Second, it may enhance immunity in persons whose postexposure therapy might be delayed. Finally, it may provide protection to persons with inapparent exposures to rabies.


<font face="" size="2">Does it mean you dont have to do the 21 injections thing if you get bitten? </font>
In the United States, Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and five doses of rabies vaccine over a 28-day period. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given as soon as possible after exposure. Additional doses of rabies vaccine should be given on days 3, 7, 14, and 28 after the first vaccination. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm, like a flu or tetanus vaccine.

(ie. no. The 14-21 injections relates to older, weaker prophylaxis.)


<font face="" size="2">Do you still have to go for treatment even if you've had the vacination?</font>
Yes. But as mentioned above, not as extensively.


simmo 24 Jun 2003 17:21

Thanks james, managed to speak to the local doctor at last. His suggestion was to go without unless you were handling animals as a matter of course. I however remember those Tibetan sheep dogs and imagine going to a chinese hospital for injections! Yeech

Susan Johnson 25 Jun 2003 01:58

Hi Simmo

We had the rabies vaccinations before heading off RTW in 1996. They aren't really that painful. Remembering a few close encounters with mean dogs in various locations, I think it is well worth it for any overland mc traveller to have the rabies vaccine. You do have to space them a few weeks apart, so don't leave them until the end like we did!


JamesCo 25 Jun 2003 07:53

G'day Simmo,

If your doctor suggests not to get them, and he knows the exposure-risk for where you're going, then you might as well take his advice. My doctor wasn't insistent on me getting them for my trip 'round the Americas, and I regret spending the money now. USD$450 for a few syringes of (what looked like) strawberry gatorade hurt the pocket, if not my arm http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif Your call - maybe they're cheaper in Aussie?


Susan Johnson 25 Jun 2003 13:01


Wow - was that $450 US just for the rabies vax?

I looked up my records for when we got the shots in UK in 1996 at the Hospital for Tropical Disease - Travel Clinic in London. All costs in GBP per person:

Typhoid - 18.20
Yellow Fever - 23.00
Meningitis A+C - 15.00
Rabies Booster - 15.00
Hepatitis B Booser - 15.00

We had our final rabies booster a month later in Malaga, Spain at a cost of 240 Pesetas, approx. US$2.00 at the time.

But even if we had done them both in UK, the total cost for the rabies vax would have only been 30-40 GBP, which is a long way from US$450!

Simmo, what is the price in Australia for these shots?


iris_trui 25 Jun 2003 13:52

Rabies is almost always lethal, let's not forget.
We took the vacinations on advise of our doctor. Get more then one advise for such matters, preferably from a Tropical Insitute or other "travel-experienced" doctors.

Most embassies have the boosters in stock, so in case you do get bitten, AND you can be injected within --I believe-- 48 hours, you'll survive.
Dogs are not the only problem: foxes, but also cats (!), bats, rats and more are all potential carriers of the disease. In eastern Turkey, western Iran, Ladakh, other mountain areas, people keep BIG dogs to protect them from wild animals. They chase bikes/ers, O yes ! No need to say that rabies is not eradicated in these countries.

Healthy travels to all of you.

Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002

JamesCo 26 Jun 2003 02:04

Hola Susan,

Yep, that was the cost of the rabies vax which I got last year in NJ. It feels somewhat uncomfortable to be on this side of the argument, but IMHO if it's only a matter of a few dollars then there's no reason not to get it, but when it's expensive I don't see it as mandatory unless one's travel plans make it so in the opinion of one's travel doctor. Anyway, get advice from a travel doctor, though I don't see the point in getting advice from more than one: what do you do if it's contradictory? Go with the conservative opinion? Find a third doctor to break the tie? Ask amateurs on the 'net? http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Rabies is invariably fatal, but only if one catches it and doesn't get treatment. My only real fear is unknowingly being exposed, in which case I wouldn't seek treatment. Then it wouldn't matter if I was vaccinated or not...


iris_trui 26 Jun 2003 05:35

For all important matters we double check. Gives us an extensive view, gets us better informed. And we read books as well.
And I'm glad we're still amateurs on the matter and can't talk from experience. We find there's enough 'risk' out there already from all kinds of diseases, and from biking (as we know only too well). But that's every ones own choice, sure.

Wish you safe and healthy travels any which way http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002

simmo 26 Jun 2003 08:10

Thanks for the responses!
Rabies Vacs are A$42 on Fridays! more expensive other days? at the travel clinic in melbourne. You need three. The 2nd one week later and the 3rd two weeks after that. Total cost $A126.
Susan it looks like I have left it too late to get the shots here anyway as I leave for for my little adventure on the 2nd of July. If I was to do it now the second injection would be in London the third in Leipzig.

James I am a little wary of some Dr's recomendations because like NZ we don't have rabies in australia and they have not had to respond to bites with rabies injections.

Now what about bubonic plague! .....


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